Monday Morning Snippets

Asian and European stock markets are lower after the US government warned that more money may be required to shore up the ailing banking sector, and that bankruptcy might be the best option for GM and Chrysler.

In London the FTSE 100 is down 2.42% at 3804.64. the German Dax is down 3.54% and the French CAC40 2.98% lower. In London banking shares are amongst the largest fallers with Barclays down 13.30 or 7.65% at 160.50, Lloyds are down 7.36% at 70.50 and RBS 6.02% lower at 25 pence. Amongst the topt ten gainers this morning we have leading sausage fanciers Cranswick up 4.13% at 567 pence.

The Nationwide is to take on the ailing Dunfermline Building Society's good bits. The Treasury will take on a billion pounds worth of bad bits.

In Argentina the one-week strike is officially over and everything is supposed to turn back to normal today. Grain deliveries to Parana River fell 80% last week as farmers held onto supplies, according to Bloomberg. Despite the strike being over for now, farmers are generally expected to continue to sit on their stocks this week too.

The news that everything is officially back to normal is highly unlikely to have a flood of foreign buyers lined up at Argentina's door wanting to buy grains, oilseeds & meals. The country has simply proven to be too unreliable a supplier in the last twelve months & nobody in their right mind would think that today's news is likely to be the end of the matter.

The Buenos Aires Cereals Exchange cut it's Argy soybean production estimate to 41.2mmt late Friday. Another private estimate suggested that the crop might only make 36-38mmt. Lord knows how low it would have been if it hadn't rained heavily during February.

In the US it remains a game of two halves, too wet in northern & central States and too dry in the south and east:

The week ahead will see a continuation of wet conditions for the Northern Plains as well as across the Gulf States. Lighter amounts will reach from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania, according to Allen Motew of QT Weather.

Significant conditions over the next few weeks are flooding in the Northern Plains, heavy rains for the Gulf Coast, drought relief in the Southeast, severe drought continuing across the Southern Plains, he adds.

The overnight eCBOT market is lower, dragged down by falling equities and weaker crude oil (down almost $2/barrel). Beans are currently around 14 cents lower, with wheat and corn both a couple of cents easier.

Tomorrow's USDA planting intentions report is expected to show 2009 bean acres up 3.5 million, corn around a million lower and wheat down around 4 million.